Some state leaders want to force sheriffs to start cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials again.
Sheriffs in several of the state’s largest counties, including Wake and Durham, have said they won’t honor detainers or take part in other programs with ICE.
Leaders of ICE have said that people can expect to see agents in local communities more often because these new sheriffs are changing how their counties work with ICE after they campaigned on that.
Several Republican state leaders want to force the sheriffs to honor ICE’s requests to detain people and prevent them from blocking federal authorities from doing their work at county jails. This would allow anyone in the community to sue sheriffs if they don’t comply and they could face fines up to $25,000 per day.
“But, it’s not until now when these handful of sanctuary sheriffs have decided that they’re not gonna cooperate with ICE that this bill becomes necessary,” said Rep. Destin Hall (R-Caldwell).
“It’s a very slippery slope to try to start telling sheriffs what to do in their respective jurisdictions. We are 100 individual sheriffs. We are strong collectively,” said Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead.
A committee approved moving forward with the bill Wednesday morning.
Opponents of the plan met outside Gov. Roy Cooper’s office to urge him to veto the bill if it passes.
CBS 17 has reached out to Cooper’s office but have not yet heard back.